The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Two nights ago, we finished reading the Great Illustrated Classics addition of A journey to the Center of the Earth as my son's bedtime story. He really enjoyed this book, as well as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which we read about a month ago (also from the same condensed children's book series). 
    What are your favorite books in this genre for children or young adult readers? 

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Vampire Hunter D You might not think it but there's laser guns, mechanical horses, floating cities and under sea structures built by Ancient Noble vapires. But it's not for children and now that he understands what I'm saying it's time to find something else until he's oh... maybe 7 or 8.

Any suggestions for a 2 year old boy?
This is not exactly steampunk, but it does have mechanical people, at that age my son loved Nova's Ark. At 9 years old, he still sometimes asks for it at bedtime.
My 2yo and 5yo like (in no particular order and with greater/lesser amounts of steampunk... we particularly enjoy the make/craft/artisan side of the steampunk world so we do a lot of books that emphasize figuring things out or tinkering. They may not fit entirely within the visual themes of steampunk culture, but they do support the values we find there, if that makes sense?):

Pirate Girl by Corneila Funke
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
Moon Plane by Peter McCartey
The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller
Tuesday by David Wiesner
How To Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA by Marjorie Priceman (you have to dig the coal, mine the ore, refine and shape the metal, gather the sand to make the glass, and so on... producing each of the items used to make a pie. The visuals are not steampunk at all, but the maker aspect is great!)
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
Not a Box and Not a Stick, both by Antoinette Portis
The Spider and the Fly by Mary Botham Howitt
The Zoo by Suzy Lee
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsberg
The Naked Lady by Ian Wallace
The Marvelous Journey Through the Night by Helme Heine (just don't let your young reader sound out the author's name or it'll be the 'bottom book" forever)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Tales from outer Suburbia also by Shaun Tan
----Tan's books work, IMO, for all ages... each reader/viewer takes away something different. They're usually suggested for older kiddos, but my 2yo loves them. As do my husband and I. :)
Flotsam by Davied Wiesner
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Science Verse by Jon Scieszka (absolutely hysterical)

Books waiting on our shelf till the girls are a tad older:
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (airships and pirates oh my!)
The invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
various Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer
the various Lemony Snickett books
Once Upon a Time In The North and the Golden Compas books by Philip Pullman
The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
the "Peter" books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Education of Patience Goodspeed by Heather Vogel Frederick
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (of course! LOL pretty much pure steampunk for kids)
Sees Behind Trees by Michael Dorris (not steampunky at all, but since I have bad eyesight I love this book)
The Drift House by Dale Peck
Arthur Ransome's books about the Blackett Sisters
Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr

And of course, a general collection of Susan Cooper, Jane Yolen, Patricia McKillip, George MacDonald, JRR Tolkien, Brian Jacques, Mary Poppins books, Gaiman, the Oz books, E Nesbitt, Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, Jules Verne, Conan Doyle, Asimov, Clarke, Connie Willis, and on... and on... and on... ;)

I'll confess, I have access to a HUGE library and nearly unlimited borrowing rights, but interlibrary loan should be able to find most of these books. And while the newer ones may not be around, used book shops should have several of these so you don't have to rely on something like Amazon if you want the books...
Your son is nine, right? Does he like the classic Holmes mysteries, or the more recent Lemony Snickets? Round the World in 80 Days might fit well with your last two tales, or The Strange Case of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde.

I'm curious if anyone has favorite heroine books for young ladies...

(I'm a rogue librarian, currently staying home with the minions, but I can't resist discussions about literature! My kiddos are a bit closer to The Adventures of Polo and fairy tales but I can't wait till the bestime stories can involve a bit more action!)
I did read Around the World in 80 Days to him, from that same series of abridged classics, but he didn't like it as well as the other two. I haven't tried Holmes yet, because I think those might be better when he's a little older. He is about 2 years behind intellectually, due to cerebral palsy and epilepsy, so I'm not sure he'd truly understand the details of the mysteries at this point. He has an older sister in college, who is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and would never forgive me if I don't introduce him to the books at some point, though.

The book we've just started is The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, the story of a young girl discovering nature and being taught by her grandfather about Darwin, at a time when a public library having the book The Origin of the Species on it's shelves would have been a scandalous thing.

Have you read Tatterhood and Other Tales? It is a book of fairy tales with strong female main characters. My daughters loved that book when they were little. Also, The Paperbag Princess.
We have Tatterhood and it's great. I'll add Paperbag Princess to the list! thanks.

Hmmm... even the abdridged Jekyl/Hyde may be too intense for pre-bed reading, but there are some nicely edited versions. I remember listening to my dad read the Holmes mysteries to my mom in the evenings after I was supposed to be in bed (we hid behind the door to the living room) ... so missed words or even a missed night of reading meant that some stories didn't make much sense at all! We still loved them, but it wasn't until I read them myself that I "got" a few of the plots. LOL

How about the Adventures of Baron Munchausen? They have steampunk themes (though I haven't read them in a while, so my memory is a bit fuzzy on specifics) and might appeal.
My daughters are now 18 and 20 years old, so it takes awhile to sift through all the dusty old archives in my brain to remember the picture books with strong heroines that they loved, but I suddenly remembered a couple more this morning.
One was Petronella . I noticed on Amazon that they've changed the illustrations. The copy we had was used when we bought it and had illustrations that looked just like the cartooning in Yellow Submarine.

The other book I thought of is The Ballad of the Pirate Queens, by Jane Yolen . My son also has a copy of this book and loves it (he loves anything with pirates).
My girls' favorite is the Larklight series by Philip Reeve, illustrated by David Wyatt. There are three books - Larklight, Starcross, and Mothstorm, and they are clever, funny adventures, and very steampunk.
We also love The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's a beautiful book, full of clocks and automata. The story is told in pictures and words, very inventive.

My own website features steampunk/gaslamp fantasy stories for children:, inspired by J.Verne and E. Nesbitt, adventure and silliness.
Reading Hugo with my son thanks to your recommendation - we are both enjoying it very much!
For young kids the picture books:
The Crimson Comet by Dean Morrisey
Flotsam by David Wiesner

My 6 yr old is also obsessed with tinkering & David Macaulay's The Way Things Work books
Macaulay's books are wonderful! I think I enjoy them as much as my children have.


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